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“It is me, Maureen. Can you hear me Donald?” Maureen asked. Donald had managed to open his...

“It is me, Maureen. Can you hear me Donald?” Maureen asked. Donald had managed to open his eyes for the first time since the fatal shooting. He was groggy, with a look on his face that depicted pain. “I can hear you, Maureen. I can hear you very well,” he said. The doctors had told Maureen and Donald’s family that it was a miracle that he was able to talk considering that his kidney was rapidly failing. “I would recommend that you don’t get too excited. We’ll take things at a time. He is in desperate need of a kidney,” the doctor had explained. “Everyone is doing what they can to find you a kidney. By God’s grace, we’ll be able to find a match for you.” “Is something wrong with my kidney?” He asked. Maureen explained the situation with his kidney to him. He had not shaved in days. His face was covered in hair. He raised his hand and signaled at Maureen to come and sit beside him, which she obliged. “I can perceive your beautiful perfume. It gently caresses my nostrils,” he remarked. She smiled. “It is good to hear you talk like that.” “It is always good to talk to you, Maureen. You are one of a kind. I can’t believe you are sitting beside me after everything.” He paused to gather his strength. Maureen listened attentively. Her eyes were firmly fixed on his face, watching every movement of his lips.

“If I get out of here alive, I would live my life differently.” “Of course you will get out of here alive…it is not a matter of if, but when,” Maureen replied. “I like your spirit Maureen. I wish I could say the same thing. The pains that are going through my body lead me to think otherwise, but if I do survive this, I would love to be a different person. I have been too selfish, blind to the needs of others. I took you for granted just like I took everyone else for granted. I am sorry for lying to you. I was so bent on gratifying my sexual needs that I did not even bother to seriously consider how my actions might affect you. I need to apologize to Enem, Chinwe and Wendy too…plus Foluke. I was disrespectful to them. I hope they have truly forgiven me.” “I think they have, Donny.” A nurse walked into the room and shouted excitedly, “We have found a match!!!” “Really? Who is it?” “Wendy is a match for Donald.” “Thanks be to God. This is brilliant. I knew something would give way somehow,” Maureen said.

Wendy walked into the room. Donald could hardly look her in the eye. “You really want to give me one of your kidneys?” He asked her. His voice smacked of guilt. “If it will save your life, what do I need two for. The doctors say that one is enough to live on.” “Thank you,” Donald said, fighting back tears. “Just take care of my kidney Donald. Make sure you feed it good stuff – enough okra soup and garri; that is my favorite. Dry fish and yam are the other things that will keep the part of me that will be residing in your body forever happy. Remember to feast on those…for my kidney,” Wendy teased to lighten up the room. “God will bless you abundantly,” Donald’s mother said to her as she hugged her tightly. “Thank you ma, and you too.” A few hours later, Wendy was led away to the theater for the surgery to take out one of her kidneys. “I am very proud of you Wendy,” Chidozie said to her. “Before you go in there, please tell me…will you marry me?” Wendy was not expecting it. “What if I don’t survive the surgery?” she asked with tears in her eyes. “Then I would live with the firm notion that I was once on the verge of marrying the most adorably kind and loving girl in the world. That is what you are. I don’t know anyone else who would do what you are about to do after what transpired between you and my cousin, Donald. Please will you marry me, Wendy?” “Yes Chidozie. I will be most pleased to marry you. Nurse, please can I have a few minutes?” Wendy asked. The nurse was busy wiping the surge of tears gushing down her face.

“You can have a day if you want,” the nurse managed to say. Wendy got off the stretcher and hugged Chidozie. “Nothing will make me as happy as being your wife,” she whispered into his ears. “If I have to offer up my other kidney to make you happy, I’d gladly do it,” she added. “I would gladly reject it my love. I want you alive…that other kidney is going to have to work hard to keep you alive.” “I am not sure I really need it as far as I have you in my life.” “There a few things I can do very well, honey. Functioning as a kidney is certainly not one of them.” ‘You don’t need to function as a kidney. Just being yourself…your kind and loving self is enough to take over the role of every cell and organ in my body. I will soon come out of that theater because I can’t wait to be your loyal and loving wife.” “I will be here waiting for you.” Slowly, Wendy returned to the stretcher and the teary-eyed nurse wheeled her away. Maureen, Foluke and Enem were bawling their eyes out.

“I can feel better already!!!” Donald said excitedly after the surgery. “The pains in my stomach are subsiding.” Everyone around had tears of joy in their eyes. Wendy lay quiet in another room with Chidozie closely watching her. He had not let her out of his sight since after the surgery. He had not eaten all day, sitting firmly opposite Wendy who was knocked out by the anesthetics, waiting for her to come around.  Some three hours after Donald came around, Wendy opened her eyes groggily. “I have been waiting to see those eyes open. How do you feel my dear?” “I am fine, especially now that I am in your arms.” Chidozie had gone over and wrapped his arms around her. “Are you hungry?” “Yes, I am. Please get me something to eat. First, can I start with your lips?” He smiled and kissed her. “That tasted so good. Can I have another one?” “I could leave my mouth…my lips with you while I go fetch you something to eat.” “Please do that my darling. I would be full by the time you come back. Your lips would have quenched my appetite, beautifully.” “I won’t be long.” Chidozie ran out to fetch her some food. One week later, Donald walked out of the hospital. Wendy had already gone home. She was staying with Chidozie. Plans were in full swing for a trip to see her parents. Maureen travelled to Donald’s village with him. He wanted to stay away from campus for a while.

“Look at you…young men sent to school to study by your parents and you opted for crime. How many people have you kidnapped so far?” The angry looking police officer asked the two young men. “This is our first time,” the dark-skinned one answered. The police officer responded with a mighty slap across his face. “Please sir, we have never done this before,” the student insisted. “So, you are students of University of Nigeria Enugu Campus?” “Yes sir.” “Why did you decide to kidnap an old woman and keep her locked away for nearly two weeks?” “It was the devil that led us into that sir,” the fair-skinned student answered. This time, the police officer kicked him with violent rage. “Leave the devil out of this!!!” He shouted. “I will make sure that you too face firing squad. In fact, I am going to have my men shoot you at night and dump your bodies in the river off Bisala Road.” “Please sir. We will never do this sought of thing again.” “You have been doing it for long. I will have you killed this night.” “Please sir, this is my first time. Uchenna here has shot someone in the past. As for me, I have never done anything like this,” pleaded the fair-skinned student.

“Now the truth is finally coming to light. So, you have shot someone before?” “It is not true, sir,” the Uchenna pleaded. “It is not true. Prince is trying to implicate me.” “It is not true officer. He was the person that shot a law student on campus some weeks ago. The gun you recovered from us is his. He used the same gun to shoot that student…yes, his name is Donald; a popular law student.” “I read about it in the paper. I believe you Prince. Uchenna, you had better start telling the truth before I shoot you,” the officer said, drawing his gun. He stood up and aimed the gun at Uchenna. His heart sank viciously into his stomach. The police officer cocked the gun and placed his finger on the trigger. Uchenna could hear the violent rhythm emanating from his heart. His throat suddenly went dry and his hands quivered violently. “Let me tell you the truth, sir.” “Then say it before I blow your brains into the gutter!!!” “Yes, I shot him. I shot him sir, but he did not die. I only meant to scare him.” “You scare people by shooting them, young man?” Uchenna was still shaking like a tree under the grip of a raging hurricane. “Someone asked me to shoot him. It was not my intention to kill him. Please forgive me. I made sure the bullet did not hit him in the chest. I did not intend to kill him sir.” “Who asked you to shoot him? Tell me now before I pull the trigger.” “It was…Sir it was…” Uchenna’s voice trailed off. He could not control the tremor that rocked his body as he stared into the barrel of a gun.

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CONVERSATION - Episode 13 An African Literary Blog
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